The spiked chair:
This instrument of torture comes in different versions. We are first going to examine their common features and, then, their differences. All of them have common features, in that they are covered with spikes on the back, on the arm-rests, on the seat, on the leg-rests and on the foot-rests. The chair exhibited at the museum of San Gimignano has 1300 spikes, a real "carpet" of spikes . One version has a bar screwed on the lower portion of the chair, by the victim's feet, which by a screw mechanism forced the back of the legs against the spikes, thus penetrating the flesh of the victim. Another version had two bars immobilising the victim's wrists forcing his forearms against the arm-rests resulting in the flesh being penetrated by the spikes.
Another version had a bar at chest height, to immobilize the victim's bust, while the spiked seat had holes to allow the victim's bottom to be 'heated" by hot coals placed under the seat, causing painful burns, but still keeping the victim conscious.
The maiden of Nuremberg:
The name of this instrument seems to have originated from a prototype that was built in the town of Nuremberg. It is also said that this sort of sarcophagus had the face of a maiden carved on its front door, probably with the aim of making this horrible container look more refined.
This instrument has four main features, whose wickedness, I think, deserve to be analyzed. The inside of the sarcophagus was fitted with spikes designed to pierce different parts of the body, but miss the vital organs, so that the victim was kept alive, in an upright position.
Its second feature is that the victims were kept in an extremely confined space to increase their suffering.
Its third feature was that the device could be opened and closed without letting the victim, who had been pierced from the front and the back, get away.
Its fourth feature was that the container was so thick that no shrieks and moaning could be heard from outside unless the doors were opened. When the sarcophagus doors were shut again, the spikes pierced exactly the same parts of the body as before, and thus no relief was ever possible. This instrument can be defined both a torture and a death instrument.
The heretics fork:
This instrument consisted of two little forks one set against the other, with the four prongs rammed into the flesh, under the chin and above the chest. A small collar supported the instrument in such a manner that the victims were forced to hold their head erect, thus preventing any movement.
The forks did not penetrate any vital points, and thus suffering was prolonged and death avoided. Obviously the victims' hands were tied behind their back.
This comes from:
This is only a small part of the devices used.
It may have ended with burning or hanging, but it started with torture!